Smart thermostats are creating quite a buzz with more and more companies creating products that help us to be as green as possible. If you are skeptical of this new trend you might be asking yourself, “What is the big difference? My thermostat is programmable, so how is a smart thermostat better?” But a smart thermostat is much more than programmability.
There are a lot of ways for you to save you energy (and money). On our website, we have a list of energy saving tips you can implement in your home. With a smart thermostat or a programmable one, you have the ability to program temperatures in your home based on the time of day or day of the week, allowing you to not cool and heat your home when you’re not in it.
If you leave for work or school in the morning and do not return until the evening, the energy you are using to cool/heat your home while you aren’t there is going to waste. By programming your AC unit to turn off at a certain time each morning, and then back on before you get home each evening, you are saving tremendous amounts of energy.
The difference with a smart thermostat is that it actually has the ability to learn your habits and patterns without you having to program anything. On top of that, it can show you ways to tweak your current schedule in order to optimize your energy usage even more.
You’ve probably heard of the newest home security systems that allow you to view in-house cameras or check if doors are locked right from your smartphone. It’s very similar to the way that smart thermostats operate. Connecting your smart thermostat to an app on your phone allows you to see and change the current temperature remotely. Honeywell’s smart thermostat has a companion app called Total Connect Comfort which gives users the power to remotely access most of the thermostat functions. Coming home earlier or later than you expected? You can make sure your home will be at the temperature you want when you get there.
If you are a data lover, you’ll enjoy having all of your energy stats at your fingertips via your smartphone or the web app. Not only will you see the current temperature and have the ability to adjust it from your phone, you’ll also see how much energy you are actively using which the app can use to calculate how much money you are saving. As always, saved energy is saved money! Even if you aren’t technology obsessed, you can play around with the web app to see how much you could save if you tweaked the thermostat setting a few degrees here and there.
Zoning your home could also save you a lot of energy and money. If you notice that one section of your house tends to be much hotter or cooler than the rest, you might be over-cooling parts of your home to make up for the difference. Smart thermostats like the Ecobee4 and the Nest Thermostat-E allow you install sensors in specific rooms to monitor temperature. It’s important to check out all the features of different smart thermostats before choosing one. For the Nest thermostat, simply set up the Nest temperature sensors with your thermostat, place the sensors in the rooms that you want to prioritize at certain times of the day, program those preferences easily on your smart thermostat app, and you’re done!
While a smart thermostat can not technically zone your house for you, we can. If you already have your central cooling unit zoned for different spaces in your house then a smart thermostat can help you manage that. Without a smart thermostat, homeowners who have a zoned house end up using separate thermostats to control the temperature of the different zones. Smart thermostats offer simplified management of the zones in your home in one unit, or in your smartphone app.
The biggest selling point of a smart thermostat is that it does not require a lot of management by the homeowner in order to do its job — saving you money. There are tons of customizations you as the homeowner can make to tweak and optimize energy usage but, even if you do not make these changes, your smart thermostat will still learn your basic patterns and save you money. Regardless of your love for data or knack for technical things, a smart thermostat can still be a great investment.
Not sure which thermostat would be best for you? Give us a call and our experienced technicians will be able to give you all the information you need to efficiently cool and heat your home!
Also, check out ENERGY STAR’s page about smart thermostats to learn more about energy efficiency.